tv Back Story Podcast Behind-the- Scenes CSPAN August 14, 2019 9:35pm-11:16pm EDT
the 60s leading up to woodstock and his legacy. woodstock, 50 years sunday at 9 am eastern on c-span's washington journal. also live on american history tv on c-span 3. sunday on q and a, new york times staff photographer doug mills talks about photos covering president trump. >> obviously he enjoys having us around. i really believe despite his constant comments about fake news and the media and so forth, i really feel he enjoys having us around because it helps drive his message. it helps drive the news of the day which he can do every day and does every day. he is constantly driving the message. therefore having us around really allows him to do that. sunday night at 8 pm eastern on c-span q&a. next on american history
tv, back story host brian tran brian balogh and nathan connolly give a behind-the- scenes look at their weekly podcast. they were joined by a former staff member and a regular guest. this is part of a two-day purdue university conference call remaking american political history. >> welcome to the 10:45 panel called something like behind the scenes, back story maybe. just so you know, you're not in the wrong place. i am brian balogh. i have been a cohost for back story for over 10 years now. i am going to introduce the panel and then we are each going to say a few words about our quite different roles. nathan and i have the same role. he is trying to steal the 20th century for me and is doing a pretty good job of it.
>> will have relatively different roles in back story. we are going to talk about that a little bit. and then we wanted to open it up to your questions. this is not what it looks like behind the scenes at back story. in fact, we are rarely in the same place at the same time. i had to google nathan to see what he looks like for instance even though i talked to him every week. so, introducing myself i am a professor at the university of virginia. i cohost back story and i direct the national fellowship program at the foundation. my cohost, nathan connolly of course is known to most of you as an outstanding scholar. he is the herbert baxter adams chair of history at the johns hopkins university. he is the author of the world
more concrete real estate and the remaking of jim crow's south florida. he is also hard at work on a book that is really a deep transnational family history. >> is that a fair description? >> and it is called four daughters, and it is a five generation history of one working-class family whose travels and travails took them between the caribbean, europe, and the united states. nathan is also an overall good citizen and as part of his good citizenship he has been involved in a project that a number of you out there are working on called mapping inequality where you are laying out the landscape.
>> joey thompson graduated from the university of virginia about 12 minutes ago. and his dissertation is titled sounding southern, music, tourism and the making of the sunbelt. i will say it publicly, this is one of the best cultural histories that i have read in 35 years of advising graduate students. his advisor was a great sale. he fired all of us. he is on to a job as an assistant professor at mississippi state university. joey is here because he had the misfortune of being a researcher on back story for two years. so, if you really want to look behind the scenes at back story, what you will find our
first rate scholars, joey thompson, monica blair who always sits right up front and our current researcher and is a phd candidate at the university of virginia department of history, and joey, monica and several other outstanding callers have done the research that really powers the intellectual connections in back story if there are any. and joyce chaplin who i met at the johns hopkins university when we were both in graduate school together, i prided myself on being the first person to the library every morning. there was only one person who was there always before me and that was joyce chaplin. you remember that, joyce? >> are you going to tell everything about it? >> i stopped right there. joyce is the james duncan phillips per vessel professor
of early american history at harvard university. her most recent work includes round about the earth, circumnavigating magellan and with allison bassford, the new world of thomas robert, rereading the principle of population. and joyce has been kind enough to be a guest on back story three times. and she is going to talk to us a little bit and she drops into a show where people know each other pretty well and bring scholarship to bear on a topic that we hope will reach a broader public. not an easy thing to do and joyce is done it masterfully as a guest three times. so let me take five or 10 minutes and just give you a brief history of back story.
considering we are for historians, myself, nathan, joann freeman at yale university and ed ayres, president emeritus at the university of richmond, considering we are for historians we own nothing formally about our own history. we can't tell you exactly when we started. we have no archives. since you are all historians, none of this comes as a great surprise to you. i actually did some primary research meeting i went back to the oldest emails i had and there is an exchange from 2005 about possibly doing a show. it has had many horrible names. the one i remember best is the one i suggested, history hotline. that lasted about three minutes i think. the show started when a man by the name of andrew wickham who
works for virginia humanities which we are still housed in and they still support us, andrew windham suggested to ed ayres and peter otis that it would be fun to do a radio show on history and apparently peter responded saying two things. number 1, we don't know enough history, we need somebody in the 20th century. and number 2 we are not very funny so nobody is going to be interested in the show. but andrew prevailed on ed and peter otis. they came to me. i said that is a ridiculous idea. nobody is going to be interested in this and we spent about a year and a half doing one demo. which was truly horrible.
if it doesn't exist it is because we have all made separate attempts to burn this demo. we circulated that to 10 or so directors of public radio stations. our notion was eventually we hit the big time we would be on wanted to public radio stations. and originally the show was a call in show. we took calls from people and we discussed the specific topics that went across three centuries. we were undeniably three dead white males. we really took pride in owning our own century. one of our most frequent tropes was my century is better than yours, my century is worse than yours, that was one of the formats we used again and again.
we got training by appearing on live radio shows. i will never forget we run a radio short in norfolk. we all were sitting in the studio but we work on this show live in norfolk. a caller called in and asked whether william and mary had been founded on pirates booty. i am pointing it peter, peter is pointing it at and we are all going, you take this one. ed is googling furiously. wikipedia, next to monica and joey that was our major search research engine. and peter answered the question and i have no idea how he answered. we were fortunate enough to air as a monthly show on local public radio stations. meaning central virginia also wtju. the university stays in and
that is how we got our start. very fortunate eventually to expand to roughly 200 public radio stations around the country. we had some good in terms of audience stations. the public radio station in chicago probably reached the largest audience of any station that we run. it was a good time. we were also on alaskan public radio. i can't remember what time we were on in alaska. i know that we were on in washington dc. i think we were on at 7 am on saturday morning and i want to tell you that we were incredibly popular with cabdrivers. and i am assuming some of them have passengers. at least more than one person was listening to us in washington dc.
about three years ago we made two very important decisions. one of them was triggered by peter otis, an 18th-century guy deciding to retire both from the university of virginia and step down from backstory. we were very fortunate that we were able to reach out to nathan connolly and joann freeman and they joined us and their perspectives, their interest, their life experiences, their own experience in public engagement i think has really changed the show. i love the old backstory, but i also really love the current backstory. at the same time we decided to take a gulp decision. we pulled off of 200 public radio stations and went to a podcast only format.
at the time i didn't know what a podcast was. that's not entirely true. i urged we go to podcast even though i didn't know how to find podcast on my phone because of two things. we wanted to reach a much more diverse audience and we wanted to reach a much younger audience. we lucked out. the podcast turned out to be very successful. on our 200 public radio stations the estimates, and they were really hazy, the estimates were that we were reaching roughly 40,000 listeners. we currently are downloaded by roughly 100,000 listeners every week. and i should have mentioned about eight or nine years ago we went to a weekly format and
we continue that weekly format on podcasting. so, i am in love with my cohost. i am in love with our researchers. i am in love with our sizable production staff. we have averaged a staff overall full-time of seven or eight people. so, we are still aiming for a sound. and people keep coming up and they think we just get together and sit around the table and shoot the breeze. and we are aiming for that. but in fact it is a costly production, it is a complicated production. if it sounds good it is because of the incredible cohost that i had and it is because of the amazing staff that we have enjoyed for now over 10 years.
so, i am happy to answer a lot of questions in question-and- answer but i'm going to turn it over to nathan and ask a question i have never asked, d feel like to kind of just come into an existing podcast with at least two old white guys? >> resuscitate right away. so it was -- with the benefit of having appeared on back story that i decided to take this move and step into this platform having done a show, i think we did one on booker t. washington or the black middle class it might have been, and i will be very honest and say upfront that i had a certain amount of trepidation about taking this move into doing media work, in large part because of just where i was in my career, right, as an assistant professor with all
kinds of expectations about timetable and clock and even then as an early associate professor. brian will be the first one to tell you, you know, we have conversations agonizing about how to do work life balance. i have three young children, two manuscripts in the pipeline and a podcast we're doing, and the process of imagining my own calculations and tradeoffs has a lot to do with really trying to understand genre. and so back story was a phenomenal way to really begin to engage how senior scholars think about really big expansive complicated ideas and in extraordinarily compelling ways. one of the things i'm sure brian won't take a lot of credit for or ed or for that matter -- who's the other guy? peter. is that, you know, they have the benefit of being able to take a field at a glance and really look at it and come at, you
know, something very complicated with an extraordinarily grounded and intimate look, oftentimes a compelling anecdote, and that's a skill that i've had to do a fair amount of learning about. i mean, really understanding as much as i want to complexify, it's about trying to show the complexity in the details. i'll also say that the show itself was going through -- and this was all happening backstage -- its own kind of agonizing conversion from broadcast to podcast, so a lot of the process of creating a show for the radio had to do with basically approximating that npr sound, and so the strategies in the booth had a lot to do with getting our show to sound like this american life, prairie home companion, car talk, right, there's a lot that goes into how many times one reads the script, whether or not you do a retake of jokes that might have come off extemporaneously and try to get that magic to happen again for
take two and three. and thankfully we've arrived in terms of our own legs in podc t podcasting at a much less varnished sound that i think actually is much more honest as a listening experience goes. we're in an environment now where last i heard, you know, this may have been like two-month-old data which has probably gone up by at least 100%, there were 400,000 podcasts that were out there. having a back story which exists in the top 1% of all podcasts will still be something that people want to tune into means that there is a challenge coming up with compelling topics and really finding the news cycle, and in some ways the most twausitwau exhausting thing about that first year on back story was it coincided with the arrival of the trump administration in january of 2017, and so we spent week after week after week with no shortage of things we had to offer deep contextual views of, whether it was muslim bans, transgender bans and border walls and environmentalism. >> i just want to say, nathan,
i'm the one who said we have to do a show that's not about donald trump. >> yeah. >> and i came up with a great idea, the history of hair. >> yeah. >> and everyone looked at me and said, hair, donald trump? that's going to get us -- never mentioned donald trump's hair on the history of hair. >> it was shortly thereafter that we did a show on the history of ufos which i loved as well. suffice it to say unof the things we've been able to do really well and i'll close my remarks here is find a way of balancing two things. one is, you know, in a field where we all would like to imagine ourselves as being really effective collaborators there's a lot that goes into structuring productive collaborations and i think sometimes when you're on a conference program committee or you want to co-author something, there's no shortage of opportunities to step on each other where that is concerned, and i think that one of the things that makes it easiest to
work on a back story, to juggle my own work life stuff to think about the show's own permutations because of the team that we have, there's a really clean division of labor that allows engineers to engineer, producers to produce, host to host ask there's a great deal of humility. we will bounce intellectual questions off engineers and producers it and they'll help us arrive at things. and we'll help with script work as needed on the fly. in that sense, you know, you get really new and fresh content, but from deep levels of expertise across those various staff positions. that i think is really important and was really useful to learn how to do that. the other thing that i would just say is that i think it's really critical to think a lot now about how we are electing to engage the public and i know there's a lot of -- for me personally, i do the kind of work that i would say comes out of a very left orientation, the kinds of questions that i ask are grounded in material
questions, grounded in antiracist work that i've been doing for a very long time, and so doing that work in a space that has been, you know, opened up in a way that maybe even some npr audience might not always be amenable to i think has been really important. how does one do antiracist work in a liberal media atmosphere, right? this is a very basic question. i know we're having a lot of conversations about who's electable, what's acceptableable kind of political discourse, and it's provided we a platform for experimenting, figuring out what some of those middle ground and yet radical perspectives can be and the fact that it's always grounded in extraordinary research and, you know, our own deep rigorous historical sensibilities allows us to feel more confident when we do decide to step out. that has been immensely rewarding. >> and can i task you with one more job. >> sure. >> could you say just a few words about our regular gig on
here and now? >> yeah, yeah. this is actually -- >> and you're welcome to be honest. >> so another one of the things that came with the new podcast format was a partnership with the folks on wbur's here and now, and we have been doing basically every other week these appearances on here and now. here and now for those who might be less familiar, it has about a million listeners. >> million and a quarter. and we get about nine minutes to entertain those million and a quarter listeners, and it will oftentimes be on topics that are, again, you know, right on with the news cycle and so it's a very compressed timetable to try to get our hand around these issues in ways that are really directed at trying to take advantage of our expertise as scholars. this is a relationship that i think has been great for the show. i've done now over 20, almost 30 now here and now appearances, and the first i'd say 19 to 20
of these i was, you know, without exception very self-annihilating as i left the booth. it was like oh, my fwod, i could have said this. i should have said this. >> i'm going to read some of the texts that you sent me. >> and through the magic of editing they all come off sounding really great, and it's all wonderful, but it's also one of those things where, especially in the early going, we were trying to figure out do they want us to be analysts, do they want us to be talking wikipedia pages? what exactly is our relationship with this other entity, and there have been things that we have said that they've decided might have been too, you know, polarizing for their audiences and we make our own calculations going forward, but i will say it's a relationship that i think is mutually beneficial. we have, i think, still to figure out a little bit of the tweaking about whether or not we get the chance to be personalities. the great thing about back stories is you build a relationship with the host as people. i still think for here and now we're primarily content
providers. there's another round of evolution we can spare with that relationship to make it possible for us to feel as if we're more active personalities on the show. i do think it's a very important civic space that, again, you know, allows us to be piped into audiences we might not be able to access because they don't have an eye device or might not be looking with their usual podcast or search. >> i think it was my first appearance on "here and now" within a couple of hours i was called out on the rush limbaugh show, so that's just an audience that i don't normally reach, whether on -- whether when we were on ter rest rial radio as it's called or when we went to podcast format. that's when i stopped reading commen comments. >> okay. over to me. okay. so thanks for being here and brian, thanks for asking me back. it's been a little over a year since i was actually the researcher, so a round of
applause or maybe not but a nod to monica who actually is the current rernler. >> monica blair. >> monica blair. so i was asked to come here and talk a little bit about what goes into create ing a prep for the show and reflect about the way this influenced my time. as a graduate student, i was doing this while i was writing a dissertation, how it's influenced my scholarship and most importantly for if there are any grad students out there, my job prospects. so i'll start by saying that one of the most exciting and sometimes anxiety producing parts of being the research for back story is being handed a topic that you know absolutely nothing about. and this, in fact, was the case for the climate change episode that we're going to reflect on a little bit. i'm not an environmental historian, never had a course in it, so how do you wrangle hising yo -- his toriography you don't
know anything about, write a prep -- >> with the picture of a polar bear standing on what looked like by then an ice cube. >> yeah. >> i think it had been a shelf of identity at one point. >> gallo's humor is the only way to get through climate change, i think. >> to write this substantial prep, suggest interesting stories and identify authors who might make interesting interviewees all in what you're billed as ten hours a week. sometimes i went over that a little bit because as you can maybe tell i'm an over preparer. that can be really demanding at times, and it reflects why it's important for a show like back story to have a dedicated researcher rather than for that to be something the hosts are doing. nathan gestured towards his crazy schedule. i can't imagine you also trying to then research a whole show yourself or your segment or anything like that. so how do you go about doing something like that?
this will be a very familiar process to probably everyone in the room, but i usually just started with journal and blog searches, the jah, american quarterly, modern american history, and blogs like black perspectives were really key for me in being able to find these stories that we could use for each episode. i mean, journal articles are particularly useful because if they're framed in the right way, they themselves can be a segment, if it's based around one compelling story. so other times whatever i found would just go into kind of the general fodder for the host to read and the producers to see, and hopefully that would generate conversation that happens between the segments of the show if you're familiar with the format. now, in the case of the climate change episode, i relied on an article by fabian lachey called a climate history of environmental reflex sieivety wh i found in the journal critical
inquiry. it's pretty unlikely that a show like back story is going to use a term like environmental reflexivity if we're trying to reach a general audience. it's my job to take this theoretical work, distill it into digestible facts and stories and hand it over to the host and producers. what that article really was helpful with was creating this intellectual and cultural history of human perceptions about climate change. i also want to give a shoutout to historians working in different departments of the government right nouchw. that website content that the state department historians create, and those kinds of brarc branches of government, that stuff is really key for getting the nuts and bolts of particularly political history, and it's an interesting way to think about how, you know, are probably ph.d. historians working in those positions, so the way that people who didn't take the academic route wound up in government and then there's kind of a triangulation
happening between the academy, government and the media. just a shoutout to those historians. that was a great source for me. the other is good old fashioned shelf browsing. and here's where like conducting this work at uva was really important. uva has this tremendous library source, and it wasn't uncommon for me to go in there looking for one book and come out with 20. we've probably all done that. that was helpful in a way that just looking at world cat or the digital source was not always as productive. you can actually rifle through a book and check out stories. related to that, it was -- i often would go to the best kind of synthetic history that i could find to create the big historical arc of a show prep. for the climate change episode, i relied on james fleming's historical perspective on climate change, and the
discovery of global warming. these types of works, ones in which the authors creating these over arcing narratives, they're really indispensable. you believe get a sense of the themes, useful anecdotes and hopefully gain an understanding of the historiography. another great method for me was relying on colleagues. it wasn't uncommon for me to e-mail and reach out to my peers at uva or other institutions and people that i knew that were working on a particular topic. in the case of the climate change episode i reached out to one of brian's students, justin mcbrine who i knew was working on climate change and the weaponization of weather and asked, could you kindly share your rernl search to help me fi this out, which he did. i bring that up just to point out how important it is for us to use our networks as scholars to help create this kind of public programming. we're lucky to have people who will donate their time and their
research in that way. relatedly, i believe it was nathan that suggested, professor chaplain for this episode, he knew that she was working on this climate change topic, and she was generous enough to share some in progress research, and we created a segment around that. so using all that research, i would then try to start teasing out continuities versus change over time. obviously a big part of the job here is finding historical precedence and analogies sort of for the topic. in the case of climate change, that meant looking for the ways that historical recognize, there's a kind of weird comfort that i think we provide audiences in this way to say that you've been here before. so on the one hand, you know, with a show like climate change,
listeners can feel a little less like they're living in unprecedented times maybe. oh, we've been talking about climate change for a long time, and the world hasn't ended just yet, so maybe there's still something we can do. but you know, on the other hand there's this kind of really sad continuity to that that, in fact, we've been talking about climate change for as long as we've been burning fossil fuels or freedom molecules, and we haven't -- we still haven't heeded people's, you know, warnings on this topic yet. what does a prep look like? usually i would start, you know, following the tag line of the show, history behind the headlines, i would start with something i found in the news to catch the readers' attention. these guys and the producers and say maybe this could be a lead for the show. in the case of the climate change episode it was then recent news that the faa had grounded planes in phoenix due to heat, apparently you can't
fly planes or certain types of planes once the atmosphere reaches this particular threshold and phoenix had grounded airplanes after it had topped 119 degrees. the atmosphere just simply wouldn't support those. sometimes those stories can be used as lead-ins for the show, and sometimes not. whatever i would often through those in there to help kind of spur a conversation. then the introduction would kind of describe the overall arc of the history as i mention ed a sort of synthesis, highlight the big issues and arguments and themes that i think could drive the discussion, and it's a weird feeling to provide that information, sometimes to such experts. i mean, never have i felt more ridiculous than writing a prep on reconstruction for ed ayers, but you know, i say that to say you know even the sharpest minds
in the game appreciate having the basic facts in front of them. it's sort of reminders and prompts of things. so then moving into like the body of the prep, i would highlight the stories that i found that i thought would make interesting segments, and i usually presented those in chronological order. that's not the way it always turns outs when it's produced on the show, but it's, you know, we're historians so it's just helpful to walk me down a time line. in terms of how this fit into my graduate studies, i was thinking about this, and i think there's three ways that i can talk about that. one is that it kept me up to date on recent publications. you know, i started this job at back story after i had finished coursework, so i wasn't being assigned dozens of books a semester to read, and in some ways working for back story felt like a continuation of coursework, like here we go writing a seminar paper basically on this topic, and so
that way it was great. it kept me up to date with what was going on in different fields. number two, it gave me an exposure to a wide variety of writing styles and methodologies that i would not have gotten had i stayed sort of siloed in my own little corner of cultural history and music history and that kind of thing. so you know, it's a cliche to say that we're all siloed away. it's cliche for a reason. it was great to bust into that. it pushed me to think about my scholarship as it applies to general audiences and how to write for those general audiences. yeah, you know, people are turning to historians for answers now, and that's something we should encourage, so you know, it never helps to write well when you're doing that. it was very much a spur in that direction. as far as the job market, you
know, i entered graduate school with zero expectations, actually, of finding a job as a professor. low and behold that's the way it worked out, but that's not where my expectations were taking me. i don't need to recite the dismal job numbers here for anyone. i say that to say that, you know, back story was a way that i could start cultivating a different side of my resume besides teaching and publishing, right? it was a way to kind of make my public history bona fide and start looking elsewhere for jobs. i with ent thewent through the ph.d. program with one foot out thinking like this isn't going to work out for me. i need to be looking on the horizon for something else, right? back story created a great opportunity for that. it also gave me an understanding of what kind of stories connect with the general public. there were many, many times that i would, you know, write a prep and find the story and think,
oh, they're definitely going to use that for a segment because of whatever scholarly relevance i found only for the producers to, you know, quash that, and so it was an interesting lesson in learning what media production people think makes a snappy segment versus what i think is -- would be great for scholarship. and so i was able to apply for different public history jobs even as i was applying for academic jobs, and i was also looking for jobs in media production. the -- the researcher before me, her name was melissa jesmondi. she used her experience to land jobs at the walrus and and a producer at the cdc for the radio program ideas and tapes y tapestry. she's back at back story as a senior producer. she's a brilliant historian who earned a ph.d. at uva. she could do anything she wanted to with that. it's interesting to see how she's bridged her academic
training with the media skills she picked up at back story. and lastly i'll say that working for this public history outlet really helped my odds on the job market just in terms of the numbers of jobs that i could apply for within the academy. i applied for dozens of jobs this year and probably a third of those had some component of public history teaching or doing public history. so again, it was just a way to beef up that part of my cv and i'm, you know, eternally grateful for that. i'll end there. >> thanks. >> no, you won't. >> sorry. >> because i'd love for you to comment on our use of your own material on back story. >> sure. >> scholarly material. >> yes. this episode already came up in conversation, but the episode on hair, rather than lead with donald trump, which was the -- you know, might come to a lot of people's minds including my own, brian was asking around about anything else, any kind of show
topper that we could use, and i happened to be writing about elvis presley getting his haircut as he went into the army back in 1958, and that's a part of chapter three of my dissertation, and so we were able to use that as the show topper. in that way, you know, not only was i behind the scenes but i actually got to be on the mic and put my own research out there which was great advertising for me, great promotion, so i'm indebted to brian for that as well. >> thanks, joey. >> i like how the bells started just as you talked about elvis. >> when you have a production team of eight people, things happen, joyce. >> not at random, clearly. well, thank you for setting up this panel and the opportunity to talk about what i've done with back story and also to actually meet everybody in person. this is really great in indiana.
it was -- the climate episode was my third time, i think before that we worked on nelly bly, and then the one before that that we can't remember -- >> but it was memorable. >> i think it might have been on roanoke, so that's why we lost that memory of that place. that episode i was in chicago, so i remember being very cold going to the studio. the second one i was in cambridge. the third one i was in italy where it was very hot going to the studio in that summer. i mention that because i ended up doing the taping the student radio station in venice, and i'm delighted to have any opportunity to thank them again. they were fantastic. they were extremely helpful, and after we were done, they asked a lot of questions, so that's where i immediately knew that the kinds of questions you were pitching me came up with material that was immediately
interesting to these far off students. i was impressed and i remain really impressed that you chose the topic of climate at all. at a time even two years ago when this wasn't really common for a lot of public media. it is becoming very common. an episode for bbc radio 4 that i contributed to just aired on tuesday, so i'm getting this request a lot, but you guys were there first. >> yeah, we call it the back story bump. >> i see, right, the bbc thinks huh. that's what we should do. but around the same time that i worked with you all, i was asked to write something for an online magazine, and i pitched a climate story, and there was a pause, and then the editor e-mailed back and said, you know, funny thing, climate
change is not only fatal to human life but to readership. could you think of writing about something else, and i didn't e-mail right back because i was so angry for many reasons because i think that's not the reason you don't run with a story. and so, again, i remain very, very impressed that you realized it was an important topic, had to be covered at a time when obviously your peers weren't necessarily going to agree with that. let me say just a little bit about the content of the segment that i did. there were four or five stories, and i just did one part of it, about early modern climate change. the coloniization of the
americas, a period of global cooling that goes by the name of the little ice age that began from the 1,300s on ward. geologists think we might still be in it. if we weren't, we would be feeling the effects of global warming even more. the k comments on the prodigious snows in new england and inability of places like virginia to produce olives and wine were sources of complaint. and just kind of incomprehension. during this period as well, european colonists thought they might be able to change this. not only was this a period in which climate change was occurring, there are also theories of -- they thought if they cut down the trees and
opened fire and opened land for cultivation, the weather would moderate and the temperature would get warmer. they weren't wrong, of course cutting down forests will actually warm conditions. their reasons for this were different from ours. so here you have a fairly complex idea about how human interaction with the natural world can produce hemispheric changes. there was also debate over whether this theory was correct, so jefferson, for instance, signed on to the cut down the trees hypothesis. benjamin franklin was skeptical or basically he warned be careful what you wish for. we may end up with a climate way hotter, especially in summer that we would really find optimal. that's what i talked about if i'm remembering correctly. >> yeah! and it was designed to warn people now that -- well, not warn people but encourage them
to think of the past as a set of resources for ways of thinking about problems that we have today. i do think that a lot of the discussion about climate change now emphasizes this sense that this has never happened before. this is unprecedented. this is an amazing crisis that no one has ever lived through and there are are parts of that that are true, but i think that the overemphasis on the unprecedented nature of the crisis can be unhelpful and kind of makes people freeze in terror whereas encouraging them to think of how people in the past have dealt with such problems, how their solutions may or may not be paths we might want to follow, that was really, i think, what the episode was great about emphasizing within this. i think these days probably if i pitched a climate story to a lot of different places, i wouldn't get this response that, no, that will kill reader interest because now of course there is
greater interest and that's one reason why i think it wasn't a great idea to have this panel to kind of revive the episode and add to the conversation yet again, when relationship, listenership about things related to the climate is growing, is really growing, for sad reasons but necessary ones. i also really liked how the episodes, those stories went into political dimensions to emphasize that climate change now and earlier had always been about politics and understanding the interface between twhawhat happens in the natural world and how scientific and non-scientific understandings of what's going on in climate have political dimensions, i thought
that was very necessary and i liked how the episode ends by pointing out where the inkre jewelty about climate change comes from and the political context for that, late 20th, early 21st centuries, i thought that was incredibly necessary and needs to continue to be discu discuss discussed. a lot of issues remain sort of don't touch that. i worked as brian said on thomas robert malthus, the original malthusian, the original at best question mark, malthusian and i did the norton critical edition, which they include later iterations or discussions of a classic text, so i'm really
aware of how discussions of population have been very fraught, extremely fraught. it is striking to me that you can now have a conversation with most people about what kind of car they drive. do they have a car? is it a normal car? is it an electrical car? where is -- you know, 20 years ago a lot of people would have been offended thinking that's none of your business. they knew where that conversation was going, and they were like. you can now have a conversation with somebody about that because climate change is now something that i think most reasonable sections of the public think is a problem worth public iteration. you cannot have a conversation with a lot of people about how many children they have. this remains a topic where people are like, no, i'm sorry that's none of your business. go away. i shut down entire dinner parties, i think, by -- people will ask what are you working on
and i say oh, malthus, and they're like okay. and it's not an unrelated topic is what i mean. it's not the only one. i'm not going to say that population is the driver, and it's not the only one where people are still reluctant to get into that, so i think the politics of how we talk about human use of the natural world, how we are part of the natural world and must think of ourselves in that way, unfinished business, highly politicized really necessary to think about. and this leads me, i think the last thing i'll say is if you were to do an update, a new episode on climate or environmentalism, perhaps more broadly defined, what maybe wasn't included last time, what we didn't discuss, what didn't come up, and i really do think this is the dimension of human rights, there's a way in which you can think of climate change
and environmental crisis as one of the most fundamental threats to human rights today. environmentalism including climate change i think was long categorized as one of those luxury worries. environmentalism was privileged white people worried about trash on the trail in yosemite, and there's this sort of lingering sense that, yeah, we'll get -- we'll get around to that, you know, maybe that's a concern. it's not the climate change might eventually be a fundamental attack on people's wellbeing, their ability to live in the same way they might want to, the ability to live where their ancestors had lived, it is already a threat to a lot of populations in the world on this level, and i think that's just something that, you know, one episode can't do everything, and we didn't talk about that, but i
really think this is a very pressing way in which we need to think about climate change in particular, but other environmental issues, mass extinction, the collapse of ecosystems. in some ways we live with one of the biggest hypotheses we've ever posed for ourselves as a species. can we survive ecosystem collapse? quite a question, and there is no definite answer, so i think thinking of how even now environmental collapse is affecting populations differentially and prejudicially and how in the future if unaddressed this is going to be an even more extreme problem. >> i'm dying to hear that show. i had a better track record at producers accepting my ideas, i'd pitch it to them this afternoon. maybe we can work together to pitch this show. thank you very much, joyce. >> does anybody want to add anything before we open it up to
questions? yeah. shoot. wait for the mic. >> huge microphone. >> thank you so much. >> and maybe we could all identify ourselves. >> yeah, thank you. i'm an associate professor of history here at purdue, and thank you so much for a terrific conversation. i'm wondering if i could ask the panel to dig in deep to something that nathan talked about about the question of time and where this public engagement work, how you fit it into your schedule that is already consumed by research and teaching and service and how you carve out this particular time and make it valuable, make it seen as valuable to your colleagues within department, to tenure review committees who are evaluating your work, and what perhaps we could do as a profession to make engagement
work more respected and valued and rewarded aspect of our job? >> i guess i'll saturday with that follow-u -- start with that follow-up. whether we first began the conversion, i was spending about 15 hours a week per show. exactly. it was way too much time. the producers said it was too much time. brian was telling me i was spending way too much time, and it was definitely too much time, and it was -- and while i was teaching and doing everything else, and basically a lot of it was the learning curve, right? it was figuring out -- i mean, we did spend, you know, every bit of two hours for a two-hour session in the studio, recording script, redidding riftoing rift you have to factor in that we were doing a lot of very heavily
produced segments that required a great deal of planning on the front end in terms of guests, in terms of the kinds of books you wanted to incorporate, in terms of what kind of soundbites and sound files could help create an immersive listening experience. a lot of the earlier stuff on the podcast side you'll e listen and get great voiceovers, we'll recreate that moment where she's denied transport that helps to explain her radicalization as an advocacy journalist and so on and so forth. eventually we got wiser to move it to now i guess a four to five week commitment, four to five hour a week commitment, if that even so it's much more manageable in terms of a team getting more streamlined. relative to the question which i think is a really important one about how does this register in more conventional academic conversations, this is uncharted territory right now, and one of
the things i find so fascinating with the arrival of twitter historians and the kinds of things that are being created, i mean actual scholarly content generated on facebook in extraordinarily quick fashion. there's no denying that we have arrived at a digital moment in the production of new knowledge that now universities have to catch up to in their credentializing and rewarding and so forth. i had a conversation with my department chair who i love dearly about what it would mean to bring me up for a full professor while i'm doing back story, and we talked about printing up transcripts and putting that in the dossier as paper to go with more conventional sources. joey wrote most of those transcripts, right, so it's not actually a fair reflection of like transcripts equal -- >> and having outside podcasters review and comment on them, very important. >> so we're still trying to figure out, you know, what does
it mean to have a peer review of this kind of media, and you know, look, it's like if you have allison hobbs or tom sagru or joyce chaplain writing for popular leadership, nobody can sustain that as being unschol unscholarly. there's got to be a way of measuring impact and thinking about scholarly impact, not simply along the lines of how many times have you cited by peer journals. that's something that pro vos, the genie is out of the bottle. many of you who are working in analog publishing, you all see the sand moving through the hourglass faster than anybody. you know that that's a platform that you're finding harder and harder to sustain and to get people to contribute to and so the institutions are going to have to figure out how to catch up with that. in some ways, i'm not necessarily worried about whether or not the efforts being done in the digital reading will be fruitless.
i think frankly that the political economy of higher education is going to have to adjust as a technology adjusts. as a last point, i'll say on this, and this connects to the point that joey raised earlier, one of the really i think fruitful consequences of a really tough moment and i'm speaking specifically about the long-term now more than ten-year contraction in the academic job market is that there has been a real flowering of extraordinarily talented historical minds in a variety of different corner of the world of letters. that can only make it again a much more productive moment for civic debate, for scholarly thinking and the like. i mean, the fact that you have people who are working as journalists, as novelists, as you know, public historians, and not just, you know, folks who are thinking ifky just do genealogy or library work, folks who are really making their career writing for popular media. and again, you think about the
kinds of journalists we all love to read, these are folks who have got research chops oftentimes doctorates in history, and i think it cannot be argued that we are more impoverished as a reading community as a result of their moving into that arena formally. in that sense again, i feel as if there's going to be a gradual acknowledgment operate n the pa universities to recognize scholars are going to feel much greater payoff. if i get 15,000 people to read something, that's a lot more attractive than writing something that's going to be at 15 people, which is the average readership for an article in an academic journal, right? i think in a lot of ways they're going to have to figure out how to properly reward and renumerate folks who are going -- huntding where ting whs are to use an old political
saying. >> two things, i mean, i really do think you're absolutely right ha one upside to the university and academia being in a kind of state of crisis is i think there is a really pressing and great opportunity to redefine what people with ph.d.s can and should do. just to add to that, i mean, i remember when environmental historians were at pains to say that they were not environmentalists, that they were not politically engaged, and i just looking back on that think what on earth were they thinking. i think stepping up and making public statements and using the kind of knowledge that we have is critical. it's just this is not the moment to say there is no ism in what i do, and i just wanted to also comment on the question of status in the academy. i mean, i really think that as a senior person if i have the
opportunity to say something in public, i should do that. i mean, what's going to happen? i'm safer than a lot of people in doing that. i think where i pause is when i want to get untenured colleagues involved, and this is trick can -- tricky because i don't want to be the kind of paternalist who says i'm going to make that decision for them and not talk to them about it. i think that extending the invitation and having that grown-up make a decision about how much time they think they have, what kind of contours they want to have in their career without any sense that they should do it or they should have to do it, but that is -- that is a really sticky question about at a more vulnerable stage of your career how much time and how much risk, especially now
when visibility to the public is not as pleasant, perhaps, as it used to be. so that's an unresolved question, and definitely university administrators probably need to have clearer guidelines about what risk is appropriate for people who aren't tenured. >> yeah, and just very briefly, you'll be shocked i'm going to tra address the bureaucratic implementation of this, but my limited experience with those at the higher echelons of administration and universities is they crave this kind of public engagement, and as, for the most part ph.d.s themselves, they understand the dangers for, let's say, a person who's not yet tenured or a person in nathan's situation who's still, you know, aspires to get -- go
on getting promotions and chairs and all those kinds of things. my own sense is that -- he already has a chair, but anyway, forget the chair. a whole dining room set. my sense is that the people at the high -- there really is a disconnect between what the people running the university want, not to mention they're often highly paid large organizations dedicated to public engagementengagement, le put that aside. they also have athletics departments, maybe that's not a good example, and our own colleagues. our colleagues who write the reports for tenure and promotion who are in longer against this. i've watched this change over the course of my career. they no longer will hold it
against you if you write an op-ed for "the washington post" or if you're on "back story" or whatever. but they think the higher ups are going to hold it against you. so in terms of bureaucratic implementation, quite literally i don't know which organization you would go to but a discussion between the decision-makers within our own disciplines where all of this starts and those people who run universities might go a ways towards resolving this problem. then the second thing i'll say is we need more conferences like this one. i'm going to give you a shoutout for organizing it. where there is not this like great divide between presenting, say i went to panel, the first
panel, terrific set of scholarly presentations, but they're also, you know, discussions of how to engage the public. you know, that we ourselves are not distinguishing between the two. >> right, just as a quick rider to that comment, you know, back story is a university supported show in many respects, right? so if you think about the fact that you have, you know, someone like ed ayers who was a former university president who sees the value in this show, gets support from the university of virginia, and the provos office at johns hopkins helps us support the show. i've had some of the most fruitful conversations directly who wants to see scholars who are out there who are engaged and have an impact. as a final point on this, one of the most comforting and eye opening conversations about this process actually came as i was still an assistant professor and my then department chair john marshal was very comforting
letting me enjknow, by the way,e people who are on the school wide tenure and promotions committee, they're scientists. historians are terrible at winding up on these boards of reviewing the dossiers anyway. the scientists actually are reviewing your file. one of the questions that the scientists will ask folks in the humanities all the time is what's the impact of this scholarship. >> great point. >> so we wind up being able to make a very easy and compelling case and say you can actually see quite easy where this scholar is showing up and impacting present day conversations, the application of this research and so on. in some ways again, not falling into the kind of mythological notion that these are all, you know, starkly divided conversations but in fact, there are a number of people in the institution at various strategic and important places within that institution that want to see you do the kind of work that you know, reefraches out to the pub. >> great. more questions, okay, yes, sir. wait for the mic, thank you, and tell us who you are. >> alan evanson and i work with
the library of congress where we are starting to archive back story for long-term. and so my question relates to that, a couple of questions. first of all, what value do you see in communicating hing histo knowledge through audio, through audio alone, if you might want to talk about that value. and limitations. the other thing is what value do you think archiving this for people many, many years in the future will have to access the show? >> well, i'll take the second one first, tremendous value in archiving it. >> keep doing it, keep doing it. >> he's laughing because he knows most of my answers, are well, great value because, you know, in dog years, in podcast
years we're about 400,000 years old. i mean, podcasts just don't last very long. >> right. >> and we've been very fortunate. somebody talked about i guess the balance of work and how much time you put in. a lot of my time now goes into just keeping the show afloat financially, and personnel changes. i don't run the show in any way, but shows don't last, and what you're doing will last, so extraordinarily important, and i would be happy to ask nathan to write a letter to that effect in case it will help you. no, i'm happy to write a letter for that. audio, i'll start with my answer, i'd love to hear from other people. i have been shocked at, you know, i read marshal mccloughue.
i've been shocked at what an intimate medium audio is especially the podcast, especially the kind of the less formulaic forms of audio and, you know, this is remaking american political history. frankly d. roosevelt remade american political history by using the radio, and he did it in a way, it wasn't just the technology herbert hoover used to talk like this on the radio, and it just didn't work so well, but roosevelt got the format and the technology right and changed americans' sense of their relationsh relationship, they're the federal government. what could be less intimate than
the federal government, by using audio, and i think some of the more talented podcasters out there and some of them are in this room, are doing exactly the same thing. it just resonates in a way that a scholarly article isn't going to. aside from the reach, i mean, actually the ability to remember moments from that. i've never heard anybody refer to a driveway moment for an article in the journal of american history. i don't doubt probably people sitting here have spent years this their driveways finishing articles but driveway moments happen all the time with audio and so i think that's part of the value. >> yeah, well, this is something that brian gestured towards is just the reach, right?
the access bability, being ableo carry it around in your pocket and listen to it on the plane as i'm sure everyone did here to get ready for this panel. yeah, i mean just having it at your fingertips that way and making it browsable essentially, making it there to where i'm going to search history and have that come up and have "back story" come up and have content like that available to people who would -- they're not going to -- they're definitely not going to read a journal article. they might not even read an op-ed in "the washington post" or something like that, but here i'm walking the dog. now i'm learning about climate change. it's just, yeah, it's incredible that way. and also i would say particular to the podcast is the flexibility that it allows in terms of production that you're not going to get on a radio like when it was supposed to be ba s basically history, car talk but
history. you're not requestigoing to get sustained story telling you can do with a podcast. i think it's just, you know, immensely exciting. >> i mean, i would only add in terms of some of the costs that i think we incur when we rely on the audio format, i'm a big fan of this platform in a bundle of other ways, sharing knowledge. one of the limitations -- and this has actually been shared with me by some fwguests and otr people just in terms of wanting more information is we don't have the benefit of footnotes and bibbliography. there's a lot of scholarship we draw on. a book kind of came to mind, and we can't say for more on this please go see. we don't get to give a tip of the hat for everyone who might be with us in the booth from a content standpoint. i'll send follow-up notes and be like hope you tuned into this
weekend's show. i was driven by something you said in another piece that helped move my thinking, just so it acknowledging the broader scholarly community that might not get a chance to have their name called during the credits. >> yes. >> hi, i'm a freelance historian in boston, but i taught for six years at angela state university in texas. i taught freshman survey classes to students who are first generation, pain out of maybe 225 students in a semester i might have four history majors. so you framed your audience in terms of the public, and you're always talking about like essentially adults who are learning more about the issues of the day and the issues of history. it seems to me that my students, my freshmen are very much that public audience. so i wanted to hear how you
frame your audience in terms of students because i certainly have used "back story" a lot very effectively in the classro classroom, not just for the content that you all provide. the ability to weave in the stories of people who might not otherwise make it into the narrative of a lecture, but also for the process of what historians do and the sort of demonstration of like this is what your professors do. i know some of these people were being interviewed or doing the interviewing, right? so how do you frame your production in terms of reaching that audience and helping out teachers in those types of class rooms? >> yeah, well, so while we're giving shout-outs, a shoutout to the national endowment for the humanities who has been -- we
have an incredibly generous anonymous donor, but next to that incredibly generous anonymous donor, the national endowment for the humanities has been the most consistent and generous form of support, and that last grant comes in the form of something called classroom connections, which aside from supporting the basic costs of production allows us to work with uva's curry school of education to target, i can't remember exactly how many shows, but a good number of shows specifically for use in class rooms from high school through college, and we don't do anything. stop me if i'm wrong, but as co-hosts we didn't plan those
bells, but i hope the nah is listening. we are not aware of what's a classroom connection show or not, in terms of content or discussion, but the -- in the post production we do some of those very things that nathan was talking about. we provide detailed lists of resources. we also distill some of the ideas into a little bit of video that might convey some of the key ideas. the other thing we do and we don't do it in a systematic fashion is we meet with, and i'm always, i can't imagine an audience that i want to reach more than that. so thank you very much for what you've been doing, but you know,
i think honestly we reach a lot of people spontaneously, not through any kind of systematic efforts. so after the panel i'd love to hear your thoughts about how we can be beyond classroom connections a little more systematic in reaching those class rooms. >> to connect this to the earlier question about what are academics supposed to do and rewarded for doing, i really do think anyone who teaches is already reaching the public and so my colleagues who say i can't do that, i have to tell them, well, you already are. whether that's good news or bad for them. that's the skill. where, again, you don't give the footnotes when you lecture to undergraduates or only very sparingly, that distillation of how we speak to each other as colleagues in an intellectual setting and how we transfer that
and then to see -- it's required to say. >> check's in the mail i hope. >> to see new hosts come in and the show sustain its popularity and grow and not only grow in popularity, but grow in the topics that it's covering. i think it was encouraging for me to see that, oh, this show can like, you know, people can kind of tag team out even, and this show can live on past the -- however long the people want to do it, so it's got -- it can inject fresh blood so to speak into it and keep going. it's sort of a -- i see it as sort of an institution. i'm speaking as an outsider now, i see it as sort of an institution that can keep going beyond peter, brian, and ed, however long they want to to do it. i don't know what ron thinks
about that. >> it's my dream, you know, to create the kind of platform that can be modified and changed and renewed, absolutely. yes. >> elizabeth mccray, i'm at western carolina university. this is maybe a more poignant question for nathan, although i think it would apply to professor chaplain too. you talk about your back story gave you the ability, i think to experiment with your antiracist work. >> yeah. so not just -- i mean, i gather that meant not just in the platform, sort of the audio, could you talk a little bit more about -- >> yeah, yeah, yeah. >> -- one of those experiments or what you meant. >> what i meant by that, so how do i put this? so when you are writing for, you know, scholarly audiences the kind of positioning that one does to let a reader know where you stand relative to existing
debates, archives and so forth, there's not a whole lot of room for that on the podcast. here i will argue such and such. that sentence never comes out in the podcast. however, i do think there are really important things that to joey's point one can do to basically take a story that folks think they know and to really help to change it and to modify it, right? so i mean, again, one of the things i think is really important for the folks that do work in the early period of u.s. history, again, this is something that came across strongly in the interview with joyce is just how integral native american technology was in the creation of the early republic's own sense of science. when you arrive on the shores of north america, it's not some overgrown forest. native american people have been very good at cure rating all kinds of ideas ones could pass
through this area. i think it's important for listeners to understand that technology in the modern united states is important to think about the long history of the determination that were informing the popularity of that film. and an opportunity to write about that and to put that in a podcast format that reached a wide audience. it was important for them to appreciate not just a comic book movie. when we had a discussion about confederate moderate, it helped crystallize some of this. we're trying to get a footing. where do we stand on existing confederate statuary. how do we imagine a portrait response to a moment where the country is grappling whether it
should moralize traders in some camps or -- and other. event to experiment on why they would see the policy for the statue. the three different if you people are going to read it. i the benefit of teaching the class that i love. try to have my students in that class think about what it would mean to step out with their own work and understand that 1 you are experienced as scholars as a starting point for doing good rigorous work. one thing we do is acknowledge the experience.
this is actually this work. you speak from that standpoint. it's an important platform for making those points explicitly. and allowing the conversations or the topic election to do some of that work. are there any other questions? >> i'm a professor -- i have a two-part question. the first is a question for all of the panelists. which is that do you think that historians particularly in the age of today or of the moment
have a responsibility to engage the public beyond teaching in classrooms or engaging public beyond the tower. if not, why not? i am interested in hearing the panel's response. i'm also interested in wondering if there's something to be said for your role or the medium that you guys use as an applicator for good historical and analytical work, and a post fact or alternative truths where people are silent or have their own set of facts. presenting this and engaging. it advocates a good work that lots of people are doing through
a very powerful platform and a powerful medium. >> i think historians as well as other academics in other fields do have this responsibility. because of the moment that we are now. to talk about what knowledge is, and what facts can determine . that should be part of our job. i think in terms of working in the climate history i feel like i am part of a tagteam involving scientist on the one hand and people in the humanity and special sciences about policy. i think the scientists, if i ever feel like i'm getting heat or talking about climate change , i just look at what happens.
climate scientist to talk in public, it's amazing how they are immediately attacked and to become objects of ridicule and abuse. they are simply stating the facts, and that's what happens. i do really think it's important for nonscientists to support them. to point out that is a form of knowledge that has agility. as a historian i want to point out that this moment must be unprecedented for many reasons. there's reasons why we can think calmly about the state that we are in. which i think giving the moment that we are in is important, and i should help do that. >> first of all, i want to give you a round of applause.
organizing this conference. >> [ applause ] >> speaking of aggregation effects, i think this is a great way to go from everything i've seen so far. i think we have obligation as a profession. to do public engagement, but i'm still a big believer in specialization, and division of labor. i have colleagues who are better teachers than i am. i love it when they teach. and teach also, but i think students benefit more when the very best teachers i have once or better scholars that i am. i think they all need to think of ourselves collectively in the best sense of the word of profession. so the profession needs to engage publicly, but the people who are far better than i am in
public engagement as well. i think if we could all think about where we can contribute to the multiple responsibilities that we have, and privileges, because we have privileges being in this discipline we can think about that collectively and figure out who is best at doing what. i think the public will be much better served that way. that's the way i would answer your third question. sadly on the second fact advocating besides thanking you for doing this, what's said is i kind of thought of back stories for a while, but that moment has passed the more urgent needs. we need people who can tell us if a video is a safe video or
not. we need people who consistently call out an ocean of lies. the ability of a podcast to influence a world that is rapidly moving towards not being able to distinguish whether something you see in a video is real or not. i am afraid we are a drop in the bucket in the fight against that. >> if i could distinguish between what we do is acknowledge just in case versus knowledge just in time. i think there is a lot speaking about climate history where it's timely. against a very sad reason. can be deployed right away.
i would hate for the academy to only do that. they were only supposed to study stuff that is immediately timely. meet all the just in case kinds of analyses with people looking at stuff. you don't see it has an immediate application, but you never know. also, if we were to really be in a state of emergency where we were only allowed to work on stuff, something just is over about the pursuit of knowledge and the ability that we will give to future generations to experience what it is like to be a scholar and a teacher. your first question, the way i think about is theirs obligation and then there's opportunity. say we have an obligation can
feel and echoing. i need to check in on twitter and see if there's anything i need to weigh in on. that's going to take away from our productivity in other ways. is going to be caused through the hot take. is to say we have the opportunity and to recognize our expertise as a tool for that. i think a back story is the one take rather than the hot take. it could be warmed over. >> take it as far as you want
to. >> the show can react to breaking topics, but it also has that lag time you can dip into the historiography. and you could be a drop in the bucket at least. this is a really rich moment in which we've been encouraged to develop in a different form. i think a lot of people are going to feel stronger or lesser to the way in and public form. it might not even be a question of having to induce people to engage. i like this idea of
just in case and just in time because i have advises the want to jump straight from a half done into podcasting. they want to have a contract right away but they don't have a topic necessarily. i think there something about young minds walking to the stages of a project maturing and giving them the process a confidence that allows them to weigh great gravity when the public debate needs the work that they do. giving us a toolkit where we feel comfortable doing a deep dive monograph than a podcast it feels like i do think very much in keeping with that the archive is one of the skill sets. we do these project and you wind up with a ton of material in your hard drive.
to figure out how to organize it. i and happy to have the back story. i am happy when i go back and i read very quick. they realize they were doing a version of this. with over 4000 articles. there is a way i think that we can look back on historians and realize there is only a way that they were engage in. they were always experimenting and thinking about radio shows. there's a lot that we can do. we have been here before by looking back at earlier historians and see how they engaged the technology. >> that story is a perfect way to end this panel. i want to thank my colleagues on the panel. and i want to think the audience